DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine, and now they are developing a browser of the same name. It is working on a desktop browser that will focus on avoiding tracking across your whole browsing experience. DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg gives a sneak peek at the future browser in a post on the company's blog, noting that it will behave similarly to the company's mobile browsing app.
According to Weinberg, the desktop browser will come with "strong privacy protection" by default, meaning you won't have to enable any hidden security options. The desktop version will include the same "Fire" button as the mobile app, which will delete all of your browser histories, saved data, and tabs in one click. It's also based on "OS-provided rendering engines" — as it is on mobile — according to Weinberg, which will result in a cleaner UI with less clutter than traditional browsers. Early testing of the browser, he claims, shows that it is "much quicker" than Google Chrome.
The browser is presently in closed beta on macOS, but according to Weinberg's tweet, DuckDuckGo is also working on a Windows version. We do not know when the desktop browser will be released to the general public.
DuckDuckGo developed a built-in mechanism for its mobile browser app last month that is designed to prevent applications on Android from monitoring users. In July, the firm launched an email protection service that purports to remove any trackers from your emails.
Despite its terrible privacy reputation, Google's Chrome browser continues to be the most used. The web browser has a market share of around 65 percent, and two billion people use it on a regular basis. Apple's Safari, its nearest competition, is far behind, with less than 20% market share. Even when you consider Chrome's data harvesting policies, that's a lot of power.
Google is facing backlash from privacy advocates, including rival browser manufacturers and regulators, over changes to Chrome that would put a stop to third-party cookies or trackers that follow you across the web. Although no definite plans for Europe have been announced, Google is intending to replace cookies with its own 'privacy-preserving' monitoring technology dubbed FLoC, which opponents claim would give the company even more influence at the expense of its competitors owing to Chrome's massive user base.
Another reason to avoid Chrome is its extensive data harvesting tactics. Google's Chrome app can gather data such as your location, search and browsing history, user identifiers, and product interaction data for "personalization" reasons, according to Apple's iOS privacy guidelines. This, according to Google, allows you to activate services like saving your bookmarks and passwords to your Google Account. Chrome, unlike competitors Safari, Microsoft's Edge, and Firefox, connects this data to specific devices and people.
It is possible to secure your account by not synchronizing Chrome and turning off third-party cookie tracking to prevent your browsing data from being gathered. However, the more Chrome features you use, the more data Google needs to guarantee they work effectively. And, as Google's strength and domination grow, another alternative is to abandon Chrome entirely and use browsers like DuckDuckGo.